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Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Reading the Workshop

Finally! My photographs, slightly grainy and far too few, of the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop are up. Despite the quality they excite me because they are richly literary. I think I described the workshop as a palimpsest, everywhere there is material to read; alphabets, quotations, rubbings, postcards and stone languages.

This is a sculpture by David Kindersley in the style of Eric Gill, in fact it could easily be mistaken for Gill. The whole body is in a taut balance of sensuality.

Above the mantelpiece examples of Kindersley alphabets can be seen climbing the white walls.

In this photograph you can see a print of one of David Jones' inscriptions which they brought down for me to see, I love its positioning in tension with the 'word made flesh' beside it, Kindersley's sculpture.

Behind the work of inscriptions are collected treasures gathered on the shelves. There are letters in the most surprising places.

Glass bottles on the shelves collect light from the high windows, filling the space with light and concentrated peace.

The attitude to work is intense, perhaps only 2 or 3 letters are inscribed in a day so an entire inscription is a work of weeks. An apprenticeship as a letter cutter is a decision of passion and dedication, three years at stone on the minimum wage, but as Lida points out it is also an inclusion in to a family.

For one morning I flirt with the idea of my own apprenticeship, is this the passion and spirituality of working practice I have been looking for? But while I am welcomed, given tea and gifts, I recognise that I am essentially an interlocutor.


  1. Thanks for the link. Although I'm not designer, writer or artist the calligraphy and typography are a passion for me. I was reading a book called the Secret Story of the letter written by an English designer, Simon Loxley. There I found a very interesting history about the typography and the people behind it. There I knew a little more about Eric Gill and Stanley Morison, there I saw the work of David Kindersley and his workshop supported now by his last wife Lida Lopes Cardozo.

    Now I'm reading An Essay on Typography by Eric Gill, interesting.

    And well, it's exciting for me to see the pictures about the Workshop and read your comments.

    Thanks once more.

  2. This was great! I love your pictures-very well composed! Your writing really reflects your emotional reaction to the studio and the work. I can't tell you how much I thoroughly enjoy your blog!

  3. Frangipan this looks the most wondrous and magical place ever. How I would love to lose myself in here. So many of my passions in one place. And, I did think that was an Eric Gill sculpture until I read your words below. Amazing post, with superb photographs that captured the magic.

  4. What an inviting environment. I would love to work in a space like this! Thanks for sharing!